March 8, 2011

Thanks from Kayla

Hey Cardinal Fans!

Hopefully you guys know a little bit about the team and coaches so I’m going to take this opportunity to recognize those in this program that don’t get the attention or recognition that they deserve.

First are our practice players. These guys come to practice everyday just to play defense for the majority of the time and they have to memorize all of our scouting reports. So thanks to Paul, Austin, Brian, Chris, Leo, Ben, Sam, and those that have played in the past. Also, a special shout-out goes to the two guys that I always go against, Greg and Ilan.

Next are our managers. They do all of the dirty work, literally. They record stats, line the court, run the clock, get us water, do the laundry, decorate our lockers, help with marketing, and most importantly they play the role of team mom. So thanks to Jen and the two managers that have been part of the team longer than most of our players have, Kerry and Dorothy.

More thanks go to: Marcella, Dr. Lambert, and Dr. Safran who keep us healthy and ready to go. Lauren and Sha’rae, the two coolest interns who do the video editing, stats, and filming of all of our practices. Sarah Boruta, the most efficient video coordinator and community service organizer I’ve seen. Devan, our strength and conditioning coach, who keeps the team going physically and mentally. This guy is the real deal and he always makes sure that we give it our all no matter what we feel like. Aaron, our media guy that makes sure we are represented well and does any necessary damage control. Bud, our video guy that makes all of the promos and commercials. DeeDee, who plans all of our trips and takes care of basically everything. She’s always been there for the team and we can call her when we need help with anything. Eileen, who does the scheduling and all of the big basketball operation tasks. Ish, Freddie, Kevin, and Jimmy who fill our stomachs with energy after ever practice and before every game. The Stehr family, who are my awesome scholarship donors that have been so supportive of me. And to those that have been part of this program for some time in my four years here, thanks!

And last but not least, I’d like to take this time to recognize YOU! Seriously, without your support and generosity, this team would be nowhere. All of our fans have stayed faithful to our team through all of the ups and downs. You were there when we lost back-to-back against the LA schools my freshman year and you were there cheering us on at the Final Four every year. So thank you. It truly means more than you know and you are appreciated more than ever. I’ll always remember walking off of the bus after losing in the championship game last year, trying to hold back tears not because we had lost, but because you had waited for us at our hotel to cheer us on. At that moment, you made the team feel loved and that our hard work was not put to waste because of the result of one night.

Alright, now that I’m done with all of that mushy stuff, it’s crunch time. March Madness is here and the seniors have one last shot to bring a championship back to the Bay. I guarantee that you have invested your support in a special team.

With love and gratitude,

March 1, 2011

Conspiracy against the Big Man or in this case the Big Woman

Hello everyone. For my blog this year I would like to discuss a serious issue that plagues women’s basketball. It is the issue of fouls.

In the game every team member gets 5 fouls. These are usually personal fouls (rather than technical or flagrant fouls). According to Wikipedia a personal foul is “a player’s contact foul with an opponent, whether the ball is live or dead. A player shall not hold, block, push, charge, trip or impede the progress of an opponent by extending his/her hand, arm, elbow, shoulder, hip, leg, knee or foot, nor by bending his/her body into an 'abnormal' position (outside his cylinder), nor shall he/she indulge in any rough or violent play.”

No ... enough with the information about what are fouls. My concern is who the fouls are being called on. I have developed a conspiracy theory over the years that referees have formed together to target the team's “bigs” or posts and call fouls on them. The “bigs” would usually be the team’s center. Ever since I began playing the beautiful sport of basketball, I have observed how refs usually are quick to call a foul on a “big” rather than a guard. I will admit that I am usually at the receiving end of those calls. And while some of those may be actual fouls, I think that it is all part of this conspiracy theory.

To support this theory I went on some of the other Pac 10 teams websites to see which players receive the most personal fouls. On our team Chiney leads the way with 66, I follow with 57, and Nneka comes next with 46 fouls. Note that we are all “bigs.” On UCLA Dixon, their “big”, leads the team with 72 fouls. On USC, LaPlante leads the team with 77 fouls. On Oregon State Greer has 86 and on Oregon Canepa has 68. I didn’t have time to get the stats on the rest of the teams in the Pac 10, but if I were to, I would guess that their bigs would be the ones leading their team in fouls. These stats offer interesting findings in support of my conspiracy theory that refs target “bigs” with fouls.

I would like to note that this blog is in no way meant to rag our Pac 10 refs — it is merely something that I have observed in my 10 or so years of playing basketball. And this conspiracy theory does not only pertain to women’s college basketball. It is a conspiracy at all levels in both men’s and women’s basketball.

Thank you for reading and for your support! Have a great day!
Sarah Boothe